The Baccalaureate Address was given by Congressman James B. Aswell, from Louisiana. Other speakers included Governor O. Max Gardner, Dr. Edwin Mims from Vanderbilt University, and Bishop William Fraser McDowell of Washington, D.C. D.H. Hill Library (then housed in Brooks Hall) was also dedicated as part of the commencement festivities. Dr. Thomas Nelson, dean of the Textiles School, was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.
The commencement address was given by Merle Thorpe, economist and editor of Nation's Business. The baccalaureate sermon was given by Reverend D.P. Gilmour of the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington on June 5th. Honorary degrees were awarded to Governor O. Max Gardner, Reuben B. Robertson (president of Champion Fibre Company), and James A. Powell (president of W.S. Barstow and Company).
The speakers were Governor William B. Umstead and President of the Consolidated University Gordon Gray. The Baccalaureate Sermon was given by Dr. James Sprunt, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. Honorary degrees were awarded to John William Turrentine, president emeritus of the American Potash Institute, architect R. Buckminster Fuller, Colonel John William Harrelson, chancellor of NC State (then State College), James Thomas Ryan, industrialist of High Point, NC, Walter Julius Damtoft, industrial forester of Canton, NC, and Robert Ten Broeck Stevens, textile industrialist of Washington, D.C.
Remarks to the graduating class were given by Thomas M. Lynam, President of the Class of 1955, Gordon Gray, President of the Consolidated University, and Luther H. Hodges, Governor of North Carolina, who also received an honorary degree. Rev. Gaylord B. Noyce gave the Baccalaureate Sermon. Honorary degrees were also awarded to James Harold Hilton, former dean of the School of Agriculture, Victor Silas Bryant, state representative from Durham, Edward Eastman Clayton, plant pathologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Elwood Leonard Demmon, president of the Society of American Foresters.
Remarks to the graduating class were given by William B. Dozier, President of the Class of 1956, William C. Friday, President of the Consolidated University, and Luther B. Hodges, Governor of North Carolina. Dr. Liston Pope, dean of Yale's Divinity School, gave the Baccalaureate Sermon. Honorary degrees were awarded to James Harold Lineberger, textile industrialist, George Waddell Snedecor, president of the American Statistical Association, Bauhuas architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Lillian Lee Vaughn, professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Remarks to the graduating class were given by President of the Consolidated University William Friday and Class President James M. Peden, Jr. Future governor Jim Hunt (then President of Student Government) also participated in the ceremony. The Baccalaureate Sermon was given by Dr. James T. Cleland, Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. Honorary degrees were awarded to Halbert McNair Jones, William Gardner van Note, and Conrad Louis Wirth.
The Dedication ceremony was attended by first dean Terrence M. Curtin, Governor James B. Hunt, Chancellor Bruce Poulton, and UNC System President William Friday.
North Carolina Governor (and NC State alumnus) James B. Hunt, Jr., alloted the initial 355-acre parcel of land for the university's Centennial Campus. The land had previously been part of the Dorothea Dix hospital.
Dr. John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University, gave the address. Michael V. Carlone gave the Address to Fellow Graduates. An honorary degree of Doctor of Agriculture was awarded to Eugene Butler.
The commencement speaker was Governor James B. Hunt. UNC System president C.D. Spangler, Jr. also made remarks. Patricia Shutt gave the Address to Fellow Graduates and an honorary degree of Doctor of Sciences was awarded to Dr. G. Wallace Giles.
The speaker was Hon. James B. Hunt, Jr., former Governor of North Carolina. Teresa Murchie gave the Address to Fellow Graduates. Honorary degrees were awarded to Robert H. Buckman, Alan T. Dickson, Charles E. Hammer, James B. Hunt Jr., Larry K. Monteith, and Douglas M. Orr.
The commencement speaker was Dickson B. "Doc" Hendley, founder and president of "Wine to Water," a non-profit organization aimed at providing clean water to those in need. Garik Sadovy gave the Address to Fellow Graduates. An honorary degree was awarded to Dr. James H. Woodward (Doctor of Sciences).
The library was named in honor of former four-term N.C. Governor and NC State alumnus James B. Hunt Jr. Also housed in the building is the Institute for Emerging Issues.
Immediately after dedication, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library won the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association Building Award. It later garnered many additional prestigious awards and was featured in Architecture magazine. Time magazine called it the "library of the future."